A few days into March and another record low temp to start off with Monday morning. It was also starting day of some Spring sports for local high school teams. But they might have to get creative until they can actually get out into the fields they normally play on.
"I'd always rather be outside. The first week really doesn't bother me too much in the gym because we can get a lot done in here. But after the first week it gets pretty old for the coaches and for the kids," said Rock Island/Milan High School Softball Coach Steve Ebner.
The team started off its season running drills and fundamentals in a gymnasium Monday because their normal softball diamond is blanketed in snow. Ebner thinks they'll be lucky to play on there in about three weeks and the team's first game is scheduled in two.
Practicing indoors has a couple of limitations like working on outfield skills and fly balls. "It's kind of depressing there's all this white snow outside. This is a hot sport, we're supposed to be sweating," said Kyrsten Plohr, a senior player.
For several other outdoor sports like baseball, girls soccer and boys tennis it's the same snowy situation. Players say being inside can be beneficial. "Diving back to first sometimes we can't really do it outside because the ground isn't too soft, we could hurt ourselves and this way it's a little more fun," said player Jasmine Ragusi.
Some indoor practice spaces have been tied up with events recently too so athletic directors say teams will be practicing where they can. They'll make the most of it though, and be as ready as they can for when they're able to actually hit the fields.
The Rocky softball team's first game is the 17th against Bloomington-Normal. Coach Ebner said he offered to travel his team there when that day comes if the weather is better to play in.